Remembering Hollywoodland

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These past few weeks I’ve reflected on my personal past traumas and the traumas of my parents and ancestors. On my mom’s side, my grandfather’s two older brothers were the first to put down roots in the United States when they immigrated to Los Angeles in the 1940s after serving in the military helping the U.S. during World War II.

My grandmother (I never met my grandfather as he died before I was born) doesn’t talk about the bad things, like the segregation, prejudice and other challenges and hardships that they faced, but I would sometimes overhear some of those sad stories in whispers when I was a little girl (most of which I was too young to understand). The stories that they did share with us as kids were the good ones—like how my grandfather’s brother worked as a limousine driver in Hollywood and drove around many of its stars. My grandmother (who is turning 99 this year!) to this day still reminds us of her brother-in-law’s numerous stories of driving around Clark Gable to star-studded events and what a “classy and nice guy” he was to my granduncle. It seemed this acceptance and friendship he received from a big star like Mr. Clark Gable (which is how he would retell the story she says. It was always “Mr.” and not just “Clark”) are some of the happier moments he chose to share.

In keeping with part of my heritage, I hopped on the pancake cereal fad but turnt them up a bit and made ube pancakes instead. I used coconut milk and coconut oil to complement the ube flavors, but dang it I really wish I had some macapuno (young coconut) on hand!

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Processed With Darkroom

Ube Pancake Cereal
Serves 2

INGREDIENTS
1 3/4 cup flour (GF blend works if you’re gluten-free)
1/2 cup grated, mashed cooked ube
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2T agave or date syrup
1T flaxseed + 2.5T water put together to make a flax egg
1t coconut oil, melted (plus more for the pan)
1 1/2 cups of coconut milk
1/2t baking soda

For serving:
Coconut milk
Vegan butter
Maple syrup

METHOD
Mix together dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, mix together the wet ingredients. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients bowl. Mix till completely incorporated. Carefully place batter into a squeeze bottle with the tip large enough to easily squeeze out the thick batter.

Turn your largest skillet on medium-high heat. Add in up some oil. Squeeze the batter into half-dollar sized pancakes all over the pan but leaving enough room between them (about a half-inch). Cook for about 2-4 minutes then flip per side.

Repeat till all batter is used. Serve in a bowl with a bit of melted vegan butter and maple syrup and/or non-dairy milk.

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